Dunfanaghy was a market town founded in the 1800’s by Alexander Robert Stewart of the Ards Peninsula in Co. Down. Many reminders of it’s trading and marine history are still visible, such as the Market House in the Square, the harbour and storehouse buildings and even some shipwrecks dotted around Sheephaven /bay.
Nowadays, Dunfanaghy is a vibrant seaside town with a wide selection of outdoor activities, cafés, bars and restaurants. Whether rain or shine, the town itself and surrounding landscapes are truly breathtaking.
There are many beautiful beaches within walking distance of Forest Lodge B&B. Tramore beach is reached only by foot over the sandy hills beside the forest and is totally secluded and untouched.
Killahoey Beach extends from the harbour area of Dunfanaghy and sweeps around the golf course. It is a blue flag beach with lifeguards in the Summer months.
Other stunning beaches in the area include Marble Hill Strand (also Blue Flag). Tramore Beach in Downings and the many coves of Ards Forest Park and Friary.
Dunfanaghy hosts many festivals throughout the year: namely the Seafood Festival in July, the August Fair on the August Bank Holiday weekend (first weekend in August), and the Jazz & Blues Festival which takes place in September.
The Jazz & Blues Festival is one of the busiest and best weekends of the year so it is advised to book your accommodation early!
Bars & Restaurants
Dunfanaghy and the surrounding areas boast a great selection of bars and restaurants to suit everyone’s pocket.
From Muck ‘n’ Muffins and family restaurant in The Square to the fine restaurants in Arnold’s Hotel and The Carraig Rua Hotel on the Main Street, to the beautiful Cove Restaurant in Port na Blagh, and finally to the Mill Restaurant situated by The New Lake, you will be spoilt for choice.
Bars include Molly’s Bar, Arnold’s Whiskey Fly Bar, Patsy’s and McColgan’s all on the Main Street. There are regular traditional music sessions in many of the bars and also a variety of bands at the weekends.
Heritage & The Arts
There are many Heritage & Arts buildings in the Dunfanaghy area to visit.
The Heritage Centre is a 5 minute walk from the centre of Dunfanaghy and is housed in the old Workhouse buildings. The Centre contains exhibits and films on the Great Famine as well as a coffee shop for refreshments.
A short stroll away is The Gallery where watercolours and oil paintings from renowned local artists are exhibited for sale, along with a wide range of crafts in the gallery shop.
More crafts are available from McAuliffe’s shop on the main street.